Human nature is interesting. One would think that, when trying to assert identity, a person would go on the defensive, attempting to protect themselves in whichever way they could. One would think that one would try their best to avoid outside stimuli, for fear of their makeshift walls suddenly not being able to hold back the flood of disillusionment. Denial. Confusion. Pride. And eventual downfall; It’s happened so many times that it’s a wonder that there are still some on the opposing side of this little game.
How many losses does it take for a group to figure out they’re not going to win…?
I suppose that’s why Mr. Chamber’s –my apologies, Caden’s- little “challenge” proved so fascinating. And though I suppose I can understand why he’d do such a thing –losing your place in the so called “pecking order” must be truly traumatic indeed, I simply went to inform Caden that such behaviours would not be tolerated.
After all, there is no pecking order for our mutual friend anymore.
Not when you serve him.
Not when you belong to me.
What Caden never realized was that it was physically impossible for him to not play my game. I can’t possibly fault him for trying; the field was his, albeit only because I was kind enough to give him that option. The location he offered, the seemingly abandoned garage of a deserted country home, was a good choice. Fairly well lit, but with plenty of makeshift weapons, vantage points and shadows. Not a bad spot for an ambush, and I was sure to make a note of that.
The only access point was through a wrecked car, which was a nice touch. Enclosed spaces are always dangerous to be confined in, and Caden seemed to be making the best of the situation, because the second I was inside, various heavy objects instantly blocked my access and exit points.
The man I made eye contact with as he doused the hood of the vehicle with gasoline was a broken one; somehow both manic and calm at the same time, filled with both murderous intent and fear, longing for my place and loathing for what one must be to get there… And so when the blowtorch in his hands was ignited moments later, I only continued to observe him.
The gasoline started to ignite. For a split second, there was only us two and the flames as company.
I must admit, from there I was slightly disappointed. There was nothing else. No second phase, no backup plan, no incredible turn of events that would leave me in awe of his abilities. There was only silence on my part and a thin shred of hope on his.
Hope that I needed to crush
Wishful thinking. That is what I assume Caden was cursing as I struck him from behind, the only thing left in my wake being a fluttering black leaf.
As I gazed down on him, bandages ripped away from his own fingers, I could see what he was so desperate to hide; how burned he was from that boiling water, the heated pot he held as he beat that woman to death…
The gasoline started to trickle in a puddle near him, under him, not yet consumed by the spreading flames,
And I decided to see how much a pawn needed to be burnt until it learned its place.
There are no happy endings. There is no matter of chance or co-incidence. Your rival won’t show up in a pinch, and you won’t gain a skill at the brink of death. No, the strongest will always win, and the weak will always submit. Anyone that says otherwise is lying.
You all have the chance to walk beside me. It’s something I suggest you consider.
After all, you don’t have much of an alternative, now do you?